Tag Archives: feminism

Eating Our Own

As the Oscars continue on the road to death from taking itself way too seriously the Golden Globes, its hipper more loose moraled cousin, continues to follow it down the rabbit hole of irrelevancy. From what I saw, the well meaning and relevant protests and discussion about sexual violence, predation and under representation of women in Hollywood was a resounding success, i.e. its trending. I suppose that my mention of it would, like a dimly lit star in the night sky that mostly goes unnoticed, be a part of the chorus of discussion about the issue.

The attention brought to Women who have been harassed, stripped of power and dignity through violence or implied violence and the inequities in power in this one industry is well deserved, it is supposedly shining a light on the greater, even less empowered world below it. Women feeling constantly threatened, or conversely those who feel empowered to use that to their advantage, are all affected by this imbalance. The different approaches to this end and the varying ways individual women have reacted to the issue has left me again wondering if the multiplicity of voices, many on the same side, can be heard through the noise.

Susan Sarandon, who I respect not only as a actor but as much as one can someone they have never spoken to, a human being, is the latest victim of the reactionary left’s (words I never hoped to ever have to say) group-think.  Somehow, in 140ish characters, the twitter-verse has managed to shame her for not letting her gender dictate her conscience.

As twitter logic goes, regrettably, this is fairly benign, but as the greater trend toward vanquishing the twin dragons of balkanization of any outlying opinion and identity politics are concerned it is another example of the stoopid factor, eating your own when it comes to small differences in opinion, when we largely agree.

Its so absolutely fucking insane that because Sarandon did not follow the part line and support Hillary Clinton (her ABSOLUTE right as an individual, I might add) in the democratic primaries and then dared to support Stein (a woman?!?!?) she is somehow solely responsible for the downfall of the black dress movement and a far worse offender than any male who presided over the casting couch Hillary’s victory would have surely completely demolished.

Here are a few dumb-ass responses to her being an individual with her own voice and position (IRONY ALERT!)

– Oh and by the way, thank you Huffington Post for finally beginning to show a little backbone in calling out stupid, although subtly.

SO what was her major crime? Refusing to support a candidate that very few people were truly happy with for one who was screwed out of party support because he WASN’T a woman? Aside from not making a lick of fucking sense, its entirely counterproductive.

Shit like this pushed into leaving the Democratic Party without abandoning my liberal principals, so am I now a traitor, sexist and bigot for respecting the opinions of others who are largely in line in principal with mine?

When do we stop sniping over small differences and finally begin unifying on GP and figure out the minor shit later? Not that we should swing far in the other direction and support raving idiot’s who are clearly unfit for office simply because they are the official party candidate, but nor should we feel we have to support someone who was clearly a member of the political class, didn’t do shit for Black People yet pandered for our vote simply because she is a woman. An absolutely well qualified woman, but also a woman who allowed her own ambition to let her turn a blind eye to the obvious corruption in her own party.

A vote for Stein or Sanders WAS NOT a vote for trump, it was a vote for the soul and conscience of the Democratic party and a test that my former party failed miserably.

Sarandon is still a hero to me, not as an actor, or as an activist, but for being the target of everything wrong with the left, the lack of serious self criticism, the lack of any real ability to soul search, and the mimicking of everything the right has represented to us since college, robotic reactionary proto-facisim.

Your Heroes Will Always Disappoint You

Updated on 8/23/17 with links. And a few egregious spelling errors.

….so don’t have heroes.

Feminism has been redefined, again and again, mostly by men. I think I went through a short period of calling myself a feminist before I realized the ridiculousness of that statement. I’m not a woman, so the defining of feminism was not for me to do. Like conversations about abortion, I can only actually be involved on the periphery unless I had something directly to do with the pregnancy. Yes I know and love the women in my life but I don’t define who they are.

Feminism and the definition of it are truly woman’s work. I have a right to chime in and ask questions but the defining characteristics of feminism and being female are not mine to judge.  I think our first mistake when we talk about feminism is allowing fearful or manipulative men to set the conversational terms of engagement. Men, although well-meaning, are often swayed by less than honorable reasons to declare themselves “feminists.” there is a running joke that guys who declare themselves feminists are just trying to get laid. Its a trope on every college campus and workplace and it exists because in many ways it’s true.

It is like the friend who declares their “color blindness,” the person who always knows the best “ethnic food spots” but knows not a single person representing the various flavors he can describe in great detail. The guy who likes exotic looking chicks, or the girl who shows up at all the anti-racist rallies and doesn’t have a single Black friend IRL.

Those people. I’ve been one of those people. I hope never to be one again.

I wish I could say that Kai Cole’s essay about her ex-husband Joss Whedon came as a huge surprise to me. Anyone who shouts so loudly about a cause and is so vocally oppositional to those who champion its opposition is often, not always, but often, full of some degree of shit.

Granted, as we should do with everyone, we need to wait for both sides or at least the stream of on set confirmations that will surely follow, until fully accepting Cole’s POV lock stock and barrel. I fear, though, that it may be too close to the truth.

I love Rosemary’s Baby, adore Braveheart and still believe North by Northwest is a classic, but all of the above film’s Directors, were and in some cases still are, shitty to women. It doesn’t make my enjoyment of any of the above less so because they all came from the minds of mild to extreme misogynists. It does, however, because I am a man and have no direct experience with misogyny, not ring as deeply as it would had I been female. It sucks in this case because he was preaching to be just the opposite.

Now you can find a whole host of reasons his activism was nulled and voided by these revelations (if true) but I can’t help but think that along with the truckload of bullshit there is a deep psychological upset in there as well. Not justifying any of it, just looking at everything full big picture.

If what Cole has written is true, not in its natural and understandable POV but its core truth, that Whedon was a faker and manipulator who used his feminist creds to hide his philandering, that will be a hard pill to swallow. For me it’s not as much a personal affront that he cheated, that aspect of his life is his, and his ex’s not the public’s. What tramples on my sensibilities is that everything he’s said, largely in line with my own beliefs, will be used as ammunition against the rest of us, the silent ones who looked at his stances as brave (but sometimes just as bad as some of whats been said on the “other side”)  and echoed his sentiments. It doesn’t make the views any less relevant, but it does make the spewer damaged goods. The messenger and the message have become one, and the messenger has his stink all over the message.

This is why I back away from admiration as a public duty, and this is why I don’t have heroes. They will ALWAYS, ALWAYS let you down.

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